‘A Quiet Place’: Destined to Be a Horror Classic

Is this John Krasinski- Emily Blunt film worth a watch?

Movie Reviews
4 min read
Hindi Female

A Quiet Place is one of those rare films that can turn an auditorium into a place akin to its title. The idea is simple, if you make a sound, death will come to you. This premise gets illustrated with such skill and effectiveness from start to finish, you tiptoe around danger, holding your breath, too scared to even munch on your popcorn.

Hush now, everyone.

In the post apocalyptic world, circa 2020, large spidery beasts are running amok. They are blind, but they can hunt by sound. Their ears, open up like a rose out of the worst nightmare, can spot the tiniest bit of sound and attack. Are they aliens or science gone wrong? It’s never explained.

Instead of an epic sweep, Director John Krasinski narrows down the focus to a microscopic family, the Abbotts.


The camera shushes us into a deserted supermarket, to get us close to the family, Lee and Evelyn (Krasinski and his real-life wife, Emily Blunt) and their children conversing in sign language. Day 89, the title card tells us.

The narrative economy of the film employs the Hitchcockian ticking bomb suspense, and Spielbergian arc. A fiercely implemented attack sequence early on establishes not only the prowling menace, it also builds the foundation of the emotional journey that the Abbotts are about to make.

A year later, the family has learnt to live in all-embracing silence in a farmhouse. The daily chores ― walking around the house barefoot, cooking, washing clothes, learning math, or playing for amusement ― every action is accomplished in oppressive stillness, for a little sound means instantaneous death.

The judiciously placed objects reveal the resourcefulness of the family to deal with the threats. Sands on their path muffle their footsteps, bulbs turn red when danger is stirring, and there is a board constantly begging the question: what is the weakness of these creatures?


The son, Marcus (Noah Jupe), and daughter, Megan (Millicent Simmonds) are well coached in this wordless existence. Megan is deaf, and Lee is constantly trying to make a new hearing aid for her. (Simmonds, who was the saving grace in Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck last year as a deaf girl, is deaf in real life.) Megan’s inability to hear puts her into the most vulnerable position, but the screenplay co-written by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and Krasinski, smartly subverts this trope into a neat contraption. Slowly we realize the family’s survival has been largely possible because they learnt sign language to deal with Megan, their first born ― a neat trick in plotting and payoff.

Is this John Krasinski- Emily Blunt film worth a watch?
Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds in the film.

Silence or death also mirrors familiar struggles in today’s political climate, but this is not the time and place for such a debate. Let’s focus on the family that needs our attention.

If an existence in absolute muteness isn’t despotic enough, the film hurls itself into its most wicked zone when Evelyn reaches the point of delivering a baby. Imagine a wailing newborn in such a situation! The couple have their own rationale for having another child, and they’ve made crucial preparations for the arrival: a soundproof basement, a miniature oxygen mask, and a crib that emulates a mini-coffin.

Dystopian films usually rely on distrust, how one character can make another a scapegoat to save one’s skin. A Quiet Place shows optimism in dystopia, and grounds the story as a family that relies on each other’s love and trust. Beneath the genre elements, it taps into the most primordial instinct of parenthood: to nurture and protect your children.

This sense of belonging, a cry for safe haven is what pushes A Quiet Place out of genre regulars to become a distinctive revolutionary. It’s so clever, it feels like an anomaly in today’s horror excursions. It makes its audience think carefully in a situation along with its characters. Even a jutting nail can make you squirm. The watertight premise does have slips in logic, but that’s also part of the fun how it submerges you, forcing you to feel as if you’re in the movie trying to be quiet.

Is this John Krasinski- Emily Blunt film worth a watch?
A poster of A Quiet Place
Horror as a genre has been infested with nefarious sound designs and silly jump scares, but Krasinski has brought it back to the old trick of unnerving silence.

The actors pitch in splendid performances in a bid to hear and survive, and we, in turn, listen closely, hearts throbbing furiously to jump out of our mouths. So lean and definitely very mean, this is cinema back to the very basic, and done with supreme flourish. A Quiet Place is destined to be a horror classic.

(The writer is a journalist, a screenwriter, and a content developer who believes in the insanity of words, in print or otherwise. He tweets @RanjibMazumder).

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